New Zealand coast: Dozens of whales are stranded for a second time

Status: 02/23/2021 4:46 PM

After the volunteers drove several whale pilots into deep waters, they were stranded again. More than 20 whales have already died along the remote New Zealand coast.

Dozens of test whales are stranded for a second time in New Zealand. After about 200 volunteers managed to steer 40 marine mammals into the deep waters with the tide yesterday, many of them returned. The number of animals dying on the remote Farewell Spit Coast has now increased to 21.

At least 28 whales have been brought back to the sea at the tide, said Louisa Hawkes, spokeswoman for the Guna Project to save whales. “I got away from a lot of yesterday,” Hawkes said. “We are cautiously optimistic that they will not return.”

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February 23, 2021 12:15 PM

The Farewell Spit is also known as the ‘whale trap’.

It is very common for whales to roam a second time before swimming away from the coast. The assistants cooled the marine mammals with water during the ebb and flow, raised them upright and made sure that they were not subjected to too much pressure on their fins.

Farewell Spit is a long sandbar that juts out like a hook in the Tasman Sea in the north of the South Island. There has often been mass delinquency of whales there. Therefore, the stretch of coast is sometimes described as a “whale trap”.

Why this is not yet known. Four years ago, 650 pioneer whales were stranded on the Farewell Spit. More than 350 heads died and about 300 were rescued. Pilot whales range from 3.60 to 8.5 meters in length and are rarely seen near the coast.

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